Pune, Maharashtra, India
Virtus Health Services India (VHSI) today launched the O-Test, in India, which is a non-invasive, highly affordable early stage detection test for oral cancer. The O Test is supported by Virtus’ highly advanced automated screening software. This software designed by senior pathologists and applied to the entire process right from case history to medical examination and microscopic slide viewing, offers higher accuracy and speed of results generation.
The globally widely accepted O Test is expected to significantly reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality from oral cancer, primarily due to 60% of all diagnosis being at late stages of its advancement. 86% of all oral cancer cases reported worldwide are in India. VHSI, a specialist medical technology products and services firm has recently entered India to service the significantly untapped market potential for cutting edge healthcare services supported by world class technology.
Mr. Sunil Ikhe, Operations Director and Country Head, VHSI said, “Virtus Health Services is committed to empowering the Indian population with access to the best and latest global healthcare technologies towards empowering them to make responsible choices for personal health. Given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with advance stage oral cancer, there has been a compelling need to provide doctors with an accurate and easy access diagnostic technique for early detection of oral cancer or even identity those at high risk. The O Test addresses this critical requirement at costs highly affordable and accessible to all sections of society.”
It today also announced its alliance with the Cancer Aid Society to offer corporates the opportunity to join hands with them on taking up the cause of early detection of oral cancer as a CSR initiative. Mr. O P Berry, Member and Director General, Cancer Aid Society said, “Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. As an NGO committed to cancer control, Cancer Aid Society strongly believes in early detection. We are pleased to lend our support to this initiative and through awareness of the O Test we hope that people are motivated to go get tested at the earliest. We also encourage the corporate community to support this initiative as part of their CSR obligations.”
The O test has already been run on a pilot basis as an internal employee health benefit with some prominent corporates in India such as Edelweiss and Just Dial. In the roll out phase, a total of over 600 employees have been administered the O Test.
The O Test, a screening of the oral cavity works on two principles. The first is a five minute visual examination of Oral Cavity and identification of susceptible areas, if any which is conducted by qualified dental medical professionals. This is followed by the brush test, a non-invasive, painless, bloodless procedure which does not need local anaesthesia. The cells acquired on the brush are transferred to a microscopic slide for staining which is further analysed for cell abnormalities using the PAP SMEAR method. If any legions found suspicious or the cells are detected abnormal, the further tests are advised.
Commenting on the need for early detection in India, Dr. Dinesh Rajput, whose paper on this subject has won the GOLD MEDAL is an Associate Professor, Department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology, Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Medical & Rural Development Foundation’s Dental College & Hospital said: “At this time over 23% of all recorded cancer deaths in India are from oral cancer. The high mortality rate from oral cancer is due to several factors, but undoubtedly, the most significant is delayed diagnosis. The survival and cure rate dramatically increase when oral cancer is detected in its pre-cancerous or early disease stages.”
Dr.S.M Inamdar, Consulting Pathologist and Director of Diagno Medical Health Services Private Limited said “I have been associated with O Test from the very first day as I strongly believe that this test is going to be crucial in saving lives. The O Test is immensely beneficial as it would significantly cut down the mortality rates and ensure that patients are afforded a better quality of life with early testing. Globally this test is widely used and I am pleased that this test has now been brought to India.”
Mr. Vikas Sachdeva, CEO, Mutual Funds Edelweiss said, “Employee welfare is a priority for us at Edelweiss. Our partnership with Virtus Health Services India in administering the O Test is yet another sign of our commitment to our employees, who we consider to be our biggest asset.”
Mr. Ganesh Aiyar’s Vice President Administration Just Dial said, “As a services provider, our customer experience and therefore company growth is directly related to the wellbeing and satisfaction levels of our employees. The O Test has been included in our employee health program given the extremely high incidence of oral cancer among Indians, which can be so easily avoided by a five minute early stage disease or risk detection test that can be conducted at the workplace itself with no fuss, at very nominal cost!”
Mr. Ikhe added, “It is imperative for everyone to take their health seriously as early detection can save lives. The early support from corporate India by including the O Test as an essential health initiative for employee health maintenance is commendable and I expect many others will follow suit.”
Apart from the test being available at hospitals and dental clinics, the O Test is available for purchase at chemists across Mumbai in the form of a gift card. The O Test retails for Rs. 850/-
Virtus Health Services India Private Limited (VHSI) is a specialist medical technology products and services company that has recently made its foray into the Indian market. The company will be introducing world class cutting edge technology-driven health care products and services to India. In its first year of operations, VHSI plans to introduce oral cancer screening and digitally supported diagnostic second opinion.
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